09 DEFINITIVE: National Definitives

In Malaysia, there are three major types of stamp issues ie “commemorative stamp“, “definitive stamp” and “special stamp“. According to Pos Malaysia official webpage, “commemorative stamp” is defined as “type of postage stamp issued to commemorate and honour important national and international events such as anniversaries and significant events, historical places and things, and outstanding individuals” whereas “special stamp” refers to “stamps typically issued depicting themes which are related to Malaysia such as our national heritage, arts and culture, nature, landmarks, food, traditional costumes and more“.

The definition of “Definitive Stamp” quoted from wikipedia as: ” a postage stamp that is part of the regular issue of a country’s stamps, available for sale by the post office for an extended period of time and designed to serve the everyday postal needs of the country“.

Malaysia first national definitive stamps were issued on 9th September 1965, known as “National Bird Series I”. Up to the date of writing, a total of eight national definitive stamps series were issued by Pos Malaysia with the latest “Iconic Marine series” issued on 18th June 2020. Below are the lists of issues:-

  1. 1965, SEPTEMBER 9TH: NATIONAL BIRDS SERIES I
  2. 1970, AUGUST 31TH & NOVEMBER 16TH: NATIONAL BUTTERFLIES SERIES
  3. 1979, JANUARY 4TH: NATIONAL ANIMALS SERIES
  4. 1986, JUNE 5TH: NATIONAL FRUITS SERIES
  5. 2005, MAY 14TH: NATIONAL BIRDS SERIES II
  6. 2010, JULY 1ST: GARDEN FLOWERS
  7. 2017, FEBRUARY 21ST: ORCHIDS
  8. 2020, JUNE 18TH: ICONIC MARINE LIFE
  1. NATIONAL BIRDS SERIES I

The famous first national definitive bird series were issued on 9th September 1965 with complete set of 8v stamps of 25cent (Crested Wood Patridge), 30cent (Blue-blacked Fairy Bluebird), 50cent (Black-eyed Oriole), 75cent (Rhinoceros Hornbill), $1 (Zebra Dove), $2 (Great Argus Pheasant), $5 (Asiatic Paradise Flycatcher) and $10 (Blue-tailed Pitta). The market value of the complete set of first day cover costs for over a thousand ringgits nowadays.

**Unfortunately, I don’t have the complete FDC to share**

2. NATIONAL BUTTERFLIES SERIES

This second national definitive with the theme of butterflies were issued as “low value series” on 31st August 1970 and “high value series” on 16th November 1970.

The “low value series” consist of 4v:- 25cent (Blue-banded King Crow), 30cent (Saturn), 50cent (Common Nawab) and 75cent (Great Mormon). The “high value series” consist another 4v:- $1 (Orange Albatross), $2 (Raja Brooke’s Birdwing), $5 (Centaur Oak Bird) and $10 (Royal Assyrian).

**Unfortunately, I don’t have the complete FDC to share**

3. NATIONAL ANIMALS SERIES

After nine years, Pos Malaysia issued the third national definitive stamps on 4th January 1979 with 8v stamps including 30cent (Tiger), 40cent (Flying Lemur), 50cent (Chevrotain), 75cent (Leathery Pangolin), $1 (Turtle), $2 (Tapir), $5 (Gaur) and $10 (Orang-Utan).

FDC with complete 8v stamps

4. NATIONAL FRUITS SERIES

On 5th June 1986, our fourth national definitive stamps series was issued with the theme of local fruits. 8v stamps consist of 40cent (Rambutan), 50cent (Pineapple), 80cent (Durian), $1 (Mangosteen), $2 (Starfruit), $5 (Banana), $10 (Mango) and $20 (Papaya). This was the longest definitive stamps series being used in our nation’s philately history.

FDC with complete 8v stamps & KUALA LUMPUR cancellation

5. NATIONAL BIRDS SERIES II

It was another nineteen years gap when our fifth national definitive stamps series was issued again on 14th May 2005. Again, there were 8v stamps:- 20sen (Spotted Dover), 30sen (Ochraceous Bulbul), 40sen (Long-Tailed Parakeet), 50sen (White-Rumped Shama), 75sen (Olive-Backed Sunbird), RM1 (Green-Winged Pigeon), RM2 (Banded Pitta) and RM5 (Imperial Pigeon).

FDC with complete 8v stamps

6. GARDEN FLOWERS

The sixth national definitive stamps of Garden Flowers were issued on 1st July 2010. There were 8v stamps:- 30sen (Lotuses), 50sen (French hydrangea), 60sen (Bougainvillea), 70sen (Red Lily), 80sen (Hibiscus), 90sen (Morning glory), RM1 (Canna Lily) and RM2 (Golden trumpet). The stamps issued for first day cover were printed with year “2010” whereas those common issue stamps were printed without the year.

FDC with complete 8v stamps

7. ORCHIDS

On 21st February 2017, our seventh national definitive stamps series were issued with only 6v stamps. There was a special uncut miniature sheet issued as well. The values of the issue were 60sen (Rhynchostylis), 70sen (Phalaenopsis), 80sen (Vanda), 90sen (Paphiopedilum), RM1 (Aranda) and RM1.10 (Papilionanda).

FDC with 6v stamps
FDC with uncut MS

8. ICONIC MARINE LIFE

The latest national definitive stamps series were issued on 18th June 2020 with iconic marine life theme. It consisted of 5v stamps and a miniature sheet. They were RM1.30 (Hawksbill Turtle), RM1.40 (Humpback Dolphin), RM1.50 (Whale Shark), RM1.70 (Small Giant Clam), RM1.90 (Dugong) and MS of RM5 (Hawksbill Turtle).

Composite concordant FDC with PULAU PINANG philately bureau cancellation, BATU FERRINGHI PO cancellation (location of Penang Turtle Sanctuary) and BATU MAUNG PO cancellation (location of Fisheries Research Institute Malaysia HQ)

We are expecting our ninth national definitive stamps series in year 2025.

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